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Move over Duke/UNC: FAU/FIU Has Serious Juice

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 16:  Head coach Isiah Thomas of the New York Knicks directs play during the game against the New Jersey Nets on January 16, 2008 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  The Knicks won 111-105.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Paul SieversAnalyst IApril 14, 2009

Back in January I wrote an article entitled “Knicks Represent Decline of a Culture in New York City,” which documented what has become of the once mighty New York hoops scene.

The two men I held responsible in that article were Mike Jarvis and Isiah Thomas, who ruined St. John’s and the Knicks respectively.

These are two men who I never thought would work in basketball ever again. Unfortunately for people who care about basketball (unless you have a twisted sense of humor like me, then it’s hysterical) two athletic directors at rival Florida universities weren’t paying attention.

That’s right, Mike Jarvis and Isiah Thomas will be pacing the sidelines in a division one rivalry game; coaching Florida Atlantic and Florida International respectively.

Back in December, I wrote about the illustrious Mike Jarvis era at St. John’s. Dr. Mike left halfway through the 2004 season and the program has never been the same.

St. John’s is now an afterthought in the Big East. Games against UConn, that used to sell out the 20,000 seat Madison Square Garden, now attract crowds of under 8,000 fans.

Norm Roberts, the current coach of St. John’s is still picking up the pieces five years later.

One of Mike Jarvis’ shortcomings was his reluctance to actively recruit. Jarvis just wasn’t a very good salesman, he felt the program sold itself.

On the other end of the spectrum, Isiah Thomas is nothing more than a salesman.

He was able to sell the Knicks' management on keeping him around for four and a half years as he wrote the manual on how not to run an NBA team. The Knicks never finished better than 39-43 with Isiah at the helm.

Isiah’s gaffs with the Knicks have been well documented. The Eddy Curry trade, the Steve Francis trade, the Jerome James signing, the sexual harassment lawsuit, the list is seemingly endless. And this is just with the Knicks.

This is the same man who, since he finished playing, failed as a broadcaster, took the job as commissioner of the CBA and ran them into chapter 11, failed as a GM with the Raptors, and failed as a coach with the Pacers.

That brings us to this upcoming season, where Florida Atlantic and Florida International will face off twice a year in the Sun Belt conference. It will be just like Duke-UNC, except the opposite.

What if you’re a New York kid that projects as a mid-major prospect and these two clowns are trying to recruit you? Does Isiah try to sell you on the chance to stick it to Jarvis? If Jarvis actually recruited would he sell the kid on sticking it to Isiah?

If either the MSG network or SNY has a sense of humor (YES certainly doesn’t have a sense of humor), these two games will be shown in 3D so New Yorkers can pretend to strike Thomas and Jarvis when they come into the picture.

We already watched these two ruin the game in New York, you might as well give us the perverse enjoyment of watching them ruin it somewhere else.

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